Saturday, February 18, 2012

The Creep Factor: Day One

 Welcome to The Creep Factor, a new feature that will scientifically determine which episodes of Dark Shadows are the scariest. The results of this evaluation were arrived at through a process involving the I Ching, no fewer than three seances and several experimental blood transfusions. They are presented in no particular order. Also .... SPOILER ALERT!

DAY ONE: Episode 509
Adam, believed dead after leaping off Widow's Hill, arrives at the home of Sam Evans. He's wounded, a little pissed off at the world and brandishing a kitchen knife. Evans, who had lost his sight in a previous episode, has no idea how close he is standing to a violent death. The image above is almost Hitchcockian in its composition.

I've got a certain fondness for Adam, a character I didn't much care for the first time I watched the series. When I gave it another viewing a few years ago I was really taken with Robert Rodan's performance and realized it was the cheesy, repetitive "Dream Curse" part of this storyline that I didn't like. Much of Adam's story is about a battle for his soul between the father figures of Nicholas Blair and Timothy Stokes, who have very differing ideas on what it means to be a man. In that regard Dark Shadows brought something new to the Frankenstein story.

It's hard work following in the footsteps of Boris Karloff (something Robert De Niro found out the hard way) but Rodan created an interesting, tortured character that was as dangerous as he was sympathetic. I hope we'll get to see Adam return in the new Dynamite comic series because he was hustled out of the original Dark Shadows television show with little fanfare.

This episode benefits from being a Kinescope salvage, which replaces the lost color videotapes. Although Dark Shadows learned how to use color in some beautiful ways, there's a spookiness to the Kinescope tapes that I love.

The Creep Factor: The 10 Scariest Moments of Dark Shadows:
Day Ten: Joe Haskell Goes Crazy
Day Nine: Barnabas Attacks Carolyn
Day Eight: That's Just Gross
Day Seven: Reach Out and Touch Someone
Day Six: Adam's Ghosts
Day Five:The Head of Judah Zachary
Day Four: The Death of Dr. Woodard
Day Three: Funhouse of Madness
Day Two: Apocalypse at Collinwood
Day One: Adam Attacks

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...